Drop Managers

The runtime environment of DALiuGE consists on a hierarchy of Drop Managers. Drop Managers offer a standard interface to external entities to interact with the runtime system, allowing users to submit physical graphs, deploy them, let them run and query their status.

Drop Managers are organized hierarchically, mirroring the topology of the environment hosting them, and thus enabling scalable solutions. The current design is flexible enough to add more intermediate levels if necessary in the future. The hierarchy levels currently present are:

  1. A Node Drop Manager is started on every compute node in the cluster.

  2. Compute nodes are grouped into Data Islands, and thus a Data Island Drop Manager exists at the Data Island level.

  3. On top of the Data Islands a Master Drop Manager can be deployed.


The Drop Managers’ work is to manage and execute physical graphs. Because more than one physical graph can potentially be deployed in the system, Drop Managers introduce the concept of a Session. Sessions represent a physical graph execution, which are completely isolated from one another. This has two main consequences:

  1. Submitting the same physical graph to a Drop Manager will create two different sessions

  2. Two physical graph executions can run at the same time in a given Drop Manager.

Sessions have a simple lifecycle: they are first created, then a physical graph is attached into them (optionally by parts, or all in one go), after which the graph can be deployed (i.e., the Drops are created). This leaves the session in a running state until the graph has finished its execution, at which point the session is finished and can be deleted.

Node Drop Manager

Node Drop Managers sit at the bottom of the Drop management hierarchy. They are the direct responsible for creating and deleting Drops, and for ultimately running the system.

The Node Drop Manager works mainly as a collection of sessions that are created, populated and run. Whenever a graph is received, it checks that it’s valid before accepting it, but delays the creation of the Drops until deployment time. Once the Drops are created, the Node Drop Manager exposes them via a proxy to allow remote method executions on them.

The node manager is also responsible for launching drops on separate processes and managing shared memory access between them.

Data Island Drop Manager

Data Island Drop Managers sit on top of the Node Drop Managers. They follow the assumed topology where a set of nodes is grouped into a logical Data Island. The Data Island Drop Manager is the public interface of the whole Data Island to external users, relaying messages to the individual Node Drop Managers as needed.

When receiving a physical graph, the Data Island Drop Manager will first check that the nodes of the graph contain all the necessary information to route them to the correct Node Drop Managers. At deployment time it will also make sure that the inter-node Drop relationships (which are invisible from the Node Drop Managers’ point of view) are satisfied by obtaining Drop proxies (using remote procedure calls) and linking them correspondingly.

Master Drop Manager

The Master Drop Manager works exactly like the Data Island Drop Manager but one level above. At this level a set of Data Islands are gathered together to form a single group of which the Master Drop Manager is the public interface.


All managers in the hierarchy expose a REST interface to external users. The interface is exactly the same independent of the level of the manager in the hierarchy.

The hierarchy contains the following entry points:

GET    /api
POST   /api/sessions
GET    /api/sessions
GET    /api/sessions/<sessionId>
DELETE /api/sessions/<sessionId>
GET    /api/sessions/<sessionId>/status
POST   /api/sessions/<sessionId>/deploy
GET    /api/sessions/<sessionId>/graph
GET    /api/sessions/<sessionId>/graph/status
POST   /api/sessions/<sessionId>/graph/append

The interface indicate the object with which one is currently interacting, which should be self-explanatory. GET methods are queries performed on the corresponding object. POST methods send data to a manager to create new objects or to perform an action. DELETE methods delete objects from the manager.

Of particular attention is the POST /api/sessions/<sessionId>/graph/append method used to feed a manager with a physical graph. The content of such request is a JSON list of objects, where each object contains a full description of a Drop to be created by the manager.


Python clients are available to ease the communication with the different managers. Apart from that, any third-party tool that talks the HTTP protocol can easily interact with any of the managers.